A rack of lamb may be the most impressive dish you make this year and here’s a little tip – it’s actually VERY EASY and cooks quickly so you can spend more time with family.
Rack of lamb is an elegant way to enjoy lamb and has one of the most beautiful presentations perfect for the holidays. I’m thrilled to partner with my friends at The American Lamb Board to showcase a recipe with Lebanese flavors that I hope you share with your loved ones this holiday season.
Table of contents
- Ingredients for Herbed Rack of Lamb
- How to Make Herbed Rack of Lamb
- Substitutions for Herbed Rack of Lamb
- What to Serve with Herbed Rack of Lamb
- Can This Be Made Ahead?
- How Long Will Herbed Rack of Lamb Keep?
- Can I freeze Herbed Rack of Lamb?
- Pro Tips For Making Herbed Rack of Lamb
- Other recipes you may like
Ingredients for Herbed Rack of Lamb
A rack of lamb is beautiful cut that lends itself to bold flavors. A balance of sweet and savory gives this dish incredible depth of flavor. We’re pairing the lamb with fingerling potatoes and sweet onions. One skillet and one sheet pan is all you need – honestly, it’s so easy that it could even be a weeknight meal!
- Rack of Lamb – I’m using 2 Racks of American Lamb for this recipe. Be sure your butcher has frenched the racks for you as well – this will ensure the fat is removed from the bones. It’s important for me to choose American lamb when feeding my family. Not only do you support local farmers and ranchers but your lamb is fresh. You can always check their American Lamb website to find out where you can find local lamb near you. Each of the racks are about 2 pounds for a total of 4 pounds.
- Rosemary – I love using fresh rosemary in my marinade, such a lovely flavor but also so accessible. Ask your neighbor if they have some growing – here in the Pacific NW, it grows all year long!
- Parsley – Fresh parsley is a vivacious herb that brings lovely color to our marinade and flavor. Either Italian or curly is fine for this dish, it will be pureed.
- Lemon Zest – We’re actually only using the zest of the lemon, the zest is where all the oil and flavor is, especially when cooking.
- Dried Mint – When cooking with mint, I prefer using dried mint over fresh. It gives a stronger flavor and if you harvest your mint in the summer, you can use the dried mint all year long.
- Yogurt – Yogurt is commonly served WITH lamb, however today we’re actually going to use it in our marinade. I find that the yogurt and olive oil help to really give the lamb lovely fruity flavor and also helps in tenderizing.
- Olive Oil – A bit of olive oil to create our marinade.
- Garlic – You can certainly use some toum here if you’d like – I’ve gone ahead and added 4 large cloves of garlic to get a really nice bold flavor.
- Sumac – If you’ve never tried sumac, it’s a lemony/tangy spice. It is bold and gives the lamb a lot of flavor without adding additional liquid to the marinade.
- Kosher Salt – Always kosher salt and preferably Diamond brand. If using table salt, please be sure to HALF your amount.
- Black Pepper – A bit of black pepper for bite.
- Red Onions/Shallots – I’m using some very small red onions but shallots would work really well in this dish as well.
- Fingerling Potatoes – Teeny, tiny fingerling potatoes are the perfect size to roast quickly and enjoy with our rack of lamb. If you can’t find them, use another gold or red skinned potato and cut into small pieces.
- Dates – Dried dates are wonderful to use in both sweet and savory dishes. Adding a hint of sweetness from the dates to our onion/potato mixture is really lovely. Pairing the potato onion mixture with the lamb is crucial as it acts as our sauce.
How to Make Herbed Rack of Lamb
Many cuts of lamb require long cook times, such as lamb shanks or roasted leg of lamb but rack of lamb is the opposite. It actually cooks quite quickly and is absolutely tender and full of flavor. As I mentioned above this is *almost* a sheet pan meal. We’ll be using 1 large half sheet pan as well as a stainless steel skillet.
We’ll begin by making the marinade for the rack of lamb. Now the marinade can be made ahead of time and popped in the fridge with or without the lamb, it’s a great way to save time.
In the bowl of a food processor or blender combine your rosemary, parsley, lemon zest, olive oil, dried mint, yogurt, garlic, sumac, salt and pepper. Blend until a paste forms.
Prepare your racks – on the fat side of your racks, make a few diagonal shallow slits. This will allow marinade to penetrate through.
Place your rack of lamb on a half sheet pan and coat with prepared marinade. Allow racks to marinade at least 30 minutes up to 24 hours. If cooking within 30 minutes, leave rack of lamb out of fridge. If marinating for several hours, be sure to remove your lamb 30 minutes before cooking. It’s best to have your lamb at room temperature to cook evenly.
While your lamb is marinating, prepare your onions and potatoes. Slice your fingerling potatoes in half and set aside, quarter your red onion or shallots and set aside. Remove the pits from your dates and chop finely – set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed stainless steel skillet, heat to medium high. Once skillet his hot place the fat side of your rack of lamb down and allow to sear for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Flip and repeat. Place rack on sheet pan and continue with 2nd. Place both racks on sheet pan – set aside and preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the same skillet you seared lamb, add 1/2 cup water and allow pan to deglaze – add your onions, potatoes and dates. Cook on high for 5-8 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Place this mixture on one side of your sheet pan next to your racks and place the entire sheet in the oven for 20 minutes in the upper third of oven.
Once your racks are done, remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Leave the potatoes and onions to continue to cook for another 10 minutes, spread out on sheet pan before returning to oven.
Once potatoes and onions are done and lamb has rested, plate and enjoy!
Substitutions for Herbed Rack of Lamb
Your lamb is a canvas for flavor – so if you need to make some changes here are a few options:
- Herbs – You can always substitute fresh thyme for rosemary or even marjoram. If you don’t have dried mint, definitely sub some fresh.
- Yogurt – For those who need this to be dairy free, I suggest using mayonnaise in it’s place or an alternative non-dairy yogurt.
- Sumac – I always have sumac on hand and it can be found in most Middle Eastern grocery stores or specialty section of your grocery store. You can also find it online. If you can’t locate, I’d sub in extra lemon zest, add in the zest of 2 more lemons.
What to Serve with Herbed Rack of Lamb
It is so important to cook and serve the potatoes and onions in this rack of lamb dish – those elements are serving as a side but also allows us to opt out of using a sauce. The flavors marry together and make every bite perfection! Here are a few things I’d serve with rack of lamb for your meal.
- Wine – Is there anything better than wine and a rich meal? For a white, I’d go with a Pinot Blanc. Lamb is hearty, you can enjoy a Cabernet or something lighter like a Pinot Noir
- Salad – A simple side salad would be perfect with this dish. I personally love fattoush which pairs that sumac flavor and gives a bright bite that is a nice match with the rich lamb.
Can This Be Made Ahead?
Some of the components can be made or prepped ahead of time but this dish is best served immediately.
The marinade can certainly be made a day or two ahead of time and stored in the fridge. That being said, the lamb can be marinated a day ahead as well.
Potatoes and onions can be sliced and stored in the fridge until you are ready to cook. The ensure the best flavor, cooking the lamb just before enjoying is best.
How Long Will Herbed Rack of Lamb Keep?
Can I freeze Herbed Rack of Lamb?
You can freeze lamb off the bone for 2-3 months wrapped well. The potatoes and onions will not freeze well.
As always, I love seeing your creations! This is a wonderful holiday dish to make for your family!
Pro Tips For Making Herbed Rack of Lamb
Remember to allow your lamb or any meat to come to room temperature before placing in a hot oven. Allowing the meat to come to room temperature ensures you are cooking evenly without any hot or cold spots.
Once you slice your beautiful lamb into chop, give them a sprinkle of flake salt to enhance the flavor. I recommend Maldon flake salt!
Be sure to pickup Frenched Rack of Lamb – you can always ask your butcher to French them for you. This is simple the removal of fat and meat from the bones. It is a lovely presentation.
For the most accurate temperature, use a meat thermometer, this one is great and I use it all the time.
I hope you enjoy this Herbed Rack of Lamb as much my family does! If you make Herbed Rack of Lamb, please let me know by leaving a rating and review below! I love sharing recipes with you and especially dishes that warm your heart like this one. Cooking with lamb is so special to me and my family – we truly enjoy experimenting with different flavors and sharing them with you. Don’t forget to head to the American Lamb Board page for more recipes, tips on cooking lamb and all about the ranchers.
As always, I love seeing your creations. Please leave a review or share your dish with me on social media #cosetteskitchen which lets me know what is working for you! You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter , Tiktok and Pinterest. For more delicious recipes to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Other recipes you may likePrint
A simple and elegant rack of lamb served with potatoes and sweet onions and dates.
- 2 racks of American Lamb, frenched – 2lbs each
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1/2 bunch of parsley, stems removed
- zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons dried mint
- 2 teaspoons sumac
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, half if using table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 small red onions or 4 shallots, quartered
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes
- 4 dates, pitted
- Begin by preparing your marinade. In the bowl of a food processor or blender add your: rosemary, parsley, lemon zest, olive oil, mint, sumac, yogurt, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until a smooth paste forms.
- Next, make several shallow diagonal slits on the fatty side of your rack of lamb.
- On a large sheet pan with edges, place your racks of lamb and pour marinade over top. Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes on the counter if cooking immediately or for several hours in the fridge.
- Quarter your small red onions or shallots and slice your potatoes in half lengthwise. Finally, remove the pit from your date and chop finely. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat a large stainless steel skillet on medium high and place one side of one of your racks and allow to sear for 4-5 minutes until charred and golden. Flip and continue on second side. Repeat for 2nd rack.
- Deglaze your pan with 1/2 cup of water and add your onions, potatoes and dates. Allow to cook on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue cooking until liquid is evaporated about 5-6 minutes.
- Place your racks of lamb on the sheet pan with bones away from each other, pour your onion and potato mixture on one side of the sheet pan.
- Place sheet pan in oven with rack in the upper 1/3 of the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until lamb reaches an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit for medium/medium-rare.
- Remove racks of lamb and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Place onions and potatoes back in oven, spread evenly across sheet pan and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Serve lamb with potatoes and onions.
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